Tulsa lawyers Discuss Guardianship by Power of Attorney

September 23, 2016 9:45 pm

Guardianship by Power of Attorney

Guardianship by Power of Attorney is a tool for parents and Family Courts in Tulsa. An ongoing problem is how to balance an immediate need for low cost care against the need for safe and secure child custody. The Oklahoma legislature recently passed laws that attempt to address this exact concern. Although Guardianship by power of attorney is helpful in lowering cost it may create some unforeseen problems.

Power of Attorney:

A power of attorney in general conveys rights and duties of one individual to another, the attorney-in-fact.  Powers of attorney are usually drafted so that when an individual becomes incapacitated, another individual can handle their financial affairs.  However power of attorneys can also convey certain rights, such as right to seek medical care for a minor child, when that minor child in is the care of another individual who is not their parent.

Oklahoma Child Custody by Power of Attorney:

With one limited exception, power of attorneys don’t transfer child custody.  That one exception is that Oklahoma law allows guardianship by power of attorney. This allows a parent to grant a 1 year power of attorney to someone of their choosing.  The primary purpose of this guardianship by power of attorney is to help that parent who has  temporary impairment in their ability to care for the child. The main benefit of this is to lower cost and allow a transfer of custody without adjudicating the parents temporarily unfit.

Our other Child Custody articles may give you other information you are interested in.

Guardianship by Power of Attorney Limitations:

Oklahoma guardianship by Power of Attorney has certain limitations. One such limitation is that if its granted by an unstable parent this same parent can terminate it at any time. In particular this guardianship isn’t ideal on an emergency basis. Although guardianship by power of attorney may occur without an attorney you should be cautious. In those situations were the child is in immanent risk of harm an emergency guardianship may be a better option. This is because it cant terminate at the will of an unstable parent. Rather, the Tulsa Oklahoma family court that granted it must now terminate it. This means the court makes sure that the reason the emergency guardianship grants is now at resolution.